Port of Long Beach in the US has received preliminary approval for a grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for demonstrating a near-zero and zero-emissions supply chain project.

The $50m grant will be used to implement the Sustainable Terminals Accelerating Regional Transformation (START) Project, which will demonstrate around 100 pieces of zero-emissions terminal equipment and trucks at three seaports in California.

Under the project, the US West Coast will receive two of its cleanest ships, while advance workforce development programmes will be carried out to support sustainable goods movement.

The project is part of California Climate Investments, a state-wide initiative that invests cap-and-trade dollars to help minimise greenhouse gas emissions and improve the economy, public health and the environment.

Scheduled to be completed by June 2021, the project includes $52m in matching funds from private and public entities for a total cost of $102m.

Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners board president Tracy Egoscue said: “The Board of Harbor Commissioners envision a zero-emissions future in Long Beach.

“The Board of Harbor Commissioners envision a zero-emissions future in Long Beach.”

“This project accelerates the commercialisation for the technology we need to get there, incorporating seaports, terminal operators, equipment manufacturers, schools and universities from all around the state.”

The equipment to be demonstrated as part of the START Project at Long Beach include 33 zero-emissions yard tractors and one top handler at Pier C, five electric trucks at Shippers Transport, and two charging outlets at Clean Trucks Program Center.

Two Matson containerships with Tier 3 engines and Harley Marine electric-drive tugboats will also be added to the Port of Long Beach.

As part of the project, one of the containership will be brought to SSA Marine Pier C by an electric-drive tugboat, and then plug into shore power rather than using the vessel’s engines for power requirements while docked.

Zero-emissions, battery-electric yard tractors and top handler cargo-handling equipment will be employed to handle the ship’s cargo containers before moving them to a zero-emissions electric truck to the off-dock container yard, Shippers Transport.

Ports of Oakland and Stockton, SSA Marine, Matson Navigation, Shippers Transport, and others are involved in the project.